Gambian authorities will be opening new investigations into the disappearance of two U.S. citizens, who security sources say were killed by a hit squad sanctioned by former President Yahya Jammeh.
Alhagie Ceesay and Ebou Jobe went missing in the West African nation in 2013 after arriving there to start a software company but were instead nabbed by presidential guard soldiers who suspected them of plotting a coup to oust the country’s longstanding dictator Yahya Jammeh.
Jammeh was defeated in an election in December. He refused to cede power and fled the country after regional troops were deployed to flush him out.
Gambia’s Interior Minister Mai Ahmad Fatty has met with the families of the two U.S.-Gambians. In a meeting that lasted over an hour, Fatty promised to get to the bottom of this matter and bring all those involved to face justice.
The Gambia did not say if U.S. authorities, who had been in the Gambia in the past over their missing citizens will be reinvited to help with resolving the case.
For long, the Ceesay and Jobe families have held on to the belief that their loved ones are alive and being detained in an island prison in provincial Gambia.
The former Interior Minister Ousman Sonko, who oversaw the detention facilities and security forces has been arrested by Swiss authorities and being investigated for crimes against humanity.
Despite widespread allegations of serious abuses committed by the security forces over the last two decades, no members of the state security or paramilitary groups are known to have been convicted or otherwise held to account for torture, killings, or other serious violations.